In late 2016 mother of one Narelle was experiencing a challenging time with her teenage daughter Claire and their relationship was deteriorating due to ongoing conflict.  Claire was argumentative and difficult to engage in conversation, prone to telling white lies and reluctant to contribute to the family. A typical teenager you might say. Perhaps, but her behaviour was upsetting and also affecting her younger cousin, who was staying with the family at the time.

Narelle contacted healthAbility to enquire about courses that could help her communicate and connect better with her daughter. Tuning in to Teens™ with facilitator Rosalyn (Roz) Sandwell was recommended. Narelle and husband Russell signed up immediately.

Tuning in to Teens™ has had a direct impact on Narelle and Russell’s parenting. They are able to take each situation as it comes and offer the best response in order to support their daughter. They give Claire the benefit of the doubt, and understand that their focus often needs to be not on what she is saying, but why she is saying it. Tuning in to Teens™ aims to create a deeper appreciation of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and how it can improve communication and connection between parent and child.

“I thought I knew what Emotional Intelligence was. I knew the definition, but I realised I didn’t really understand it.” Narelle says.

Roz explains, “We often find that people who attend the program feel this way. EQ is talked about a great deal in the media and the community, but in Tuning in to Teens we explore our own EQ and that of our children. We really unpack how this looks, feels and impacts on our connection to each other.”

Narelle believes the program is fantastic for couples to undertake. ‘Having Russell come along to Tuning in to Teens was extremely valuable.” Narelle says. “It allowed us to learn and experience together and be on the same page. We are more consistent with our approach, so that Claire doesn’t end up receiving mixed messages.”

Since completing the program Narelle has seen a good improvement in her relationship with Claire. Their discussions are calmer and there’s more open communication. Claire’s behaviour has also improved. She is more likely to compromise, and while she will still argue, she’s now more willing to meet her parents half way. Narelle believes she’s now much more accountable for her behaviour and actions, she has the capacity to realise that “if she doesn’t do something they have agreed on, then it’s on her.”

Of program facilitator Roz Sandwell, Narelle says her experience is second to none. Roz works in the high school system, so she has the ability to appreciate both the parent’s position and frustrations, as well as having a genuine understanding of teens’ perspective, emotions and concerns.

“Working with teens, their families and the school system is incredibly rewarding, challenging and offers never ending opportunities to adapt my thinking, approaches and practice,” Roz reveals. “I love that every young person I meet offers a new perspective and their own unique emotional response to their experiences. This assists me to further develop my emotion coaching strategies and techniques to really identity and tune it to the challenges parents may experience.”

The next five week Tuning in to Teens™ program commences February 27. Bookings are essential. Costs are based on single, couple or concession bookings. Please contact healthAbility on 9430 9100 to register your interest.